Tom Demma, a 2004 graduate of San Lorenzo Valley High School, will fight in the heavyweight division in what is also his first organized bout.
“I am very confident,” the 26-year-old said this week. “I have been training nonstop pretty much forever. It’s one of my dreams to fight.”
Demma, a pond and lake technician who is also attending college, trains in the art of kajukenbo at Farley’s Kickboxing Academy in Santa Cruz.
Demma was a wrestler in high school and said he is relies on technique when it comes to MMA.
“Some of the fighters like to go in there and brawl,” he said. “But it’s more technical than that.”
Demma got interested in MMA because of his uncles Steven and Sivel Osuna of San Jose, who he grew up watching fight.
“It’s a sport I’ve always loved,” Demma said. “I’m following in my uncles’ footsteps.”
The Nov. 10 event has been dubbed the Showdown in Surftown by organizers Chris Killen and Christian Pellechia, who are both out of Farley’s Kickboxing Academy.
They came up with the idea last year to bring MMA to the Santa Cruz public and the event took off.
“Christian saw the void in Santa Cruz and thought it would be a good idea to do MMA in Santa Cruz,” Killen said.
A percentage of the box office sales will go to hunger-fighting organization Grind Out Hunger and Killen has put his video production background to use by filming pre-produced video of each fighter that will be used to introduce fighters during the event.
Community Television will also bring four cameras to the bout to film the action and the crowd.
“It will give some legitimacy and make people feel like they are part of an event, not just a fight,” Killen said.
Killen said the plan is to host three MMA events each year, but said it’s too early to say when the next bout will be.
AT A GLANCE
What: Showdown in Surftown
When: 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10
Where: Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, 307 Church Street in Santa Cruz
Details: Santa Cruz’s first mixed martial arts event
Cost: $24.50 to 34.50